Hats off to my heroes

12 May 2021

Whether it is in the past, at present or in the future, I see nurses play an indispensable role in promoting people’s health and the development of healthcare. Themed “A vision for future healthcare” this year, International Nurses Day always reminds me of a long-time nurse colleague who had a profound positive influence on me.


During the days when I was a fledgling houseman, my colleagues often joked about me being a maneki-neko, the Japanese “Waving Lucky Cat”, as there were always lots of cases wherever I worked in. I remember a long and stressful day when it was already well past midnight by the time I could put my hands on the piles of documents on my desk. While I was almost dozing off, a senior nurse tapped me gently on my shoulder and gave me a can of coke. The coke worked wonders on me and woke me up from my low blood sugar condition! That small can of drink was a much-needed support, both physically and spiritually. Since then we regularly had “late-night meals” together, and as our friendship grew, so did my weight!  Although my friend has retired, we still catch up with each other all these years.


The various circumstances and daily challenges faced by nurses have convinced me that it would be extremely tough for anyone to be a nurse if one is not driven by a passion to serve and having compassion for others. Realising the above and the fact that every decision made would have an impact on nursing procedures and the quality of care, I always reminded myself to think carefully again the advice nurses gave me whenever there were disagreements with us.


This year on International Nurses Day, senior management of our parent group IHH Healthcare, together with its country leads, paid a video tribute to nurses around the world. Thank you all for being selfless and courageous in your delivery of care and hope for those in need. You’re our everyday heroes!


Happy Nurses Day!


Dr Kenneth Tsang
Chief Executive Officer
Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong